Posts Tagged ‘Final’

Final Fantasy 4: The After Years (WiiWare)

June 6, 2009

Sorry for my lateness. I have been incredibly lazy, recently. Some of it came from playing Final Fantasy 7 for hours at a time just to try to get to the next part of the game. That, and I’ve been playing some Spyro the Dragon. Anyway, I will talk about a game that came out recently, because I think some people are curious of whether or not this game is on par with the original.

Ok, first thing I want to push out of the way is how the story is broken up. The portion of the game with Ceodore, the son of Cecil and Rosa, comes with downloading the game. Additional portions of the storyline that revolve around other characters cost 300 Wii points each, with the exception of the final downloadable story, which might be the grand finale. That portion is worth 800 points, the same amount as the game, itself. Currently, only one other story is available: Rydia.

As for how the game flows, I’d say it feels much like the original Final Fantasy 4. One thing I noticed, though, is that Ceodore levelled up quite quickly, and by the time I was done with his segment, he was in his mid-30s. I guess it slows down as the story progresses, though, but I’m not certain. Many, if not all, monsters return in this game. You may notice that the difficulty rises a bit faster in this game. This can be even more noticeable in Rydia’s portion of the game. Also, you will gain a sizable party pretty quickly, so before long, you’ll have four characters to use. Some of those characters, however, play a minor role in the game.

The graphics borrow from the Game Boy Advance version of the game. This time, non-battle character sprites are now 16 x 32 pixels, as opposed to 16 x 16 pixels. In other words, you’ll notice that the characters are twice as tall. However, during flashbacks, the characters will use their original 16 x 16 size. Personally, I say that the game looks beautiful, despite the size change.

As far as the storyline goes, my personal opinion is that a game’s story is good when the player is eager to unravel a mystery within the game. In Ceodore’s case, there is the mystery of the hooded man. That character kept me wondering who he is, and I played a lot of the game in one sitting for that reason. Of course, there are other mysteries, but I won’t reveal them here. So basically, I found the story very entertaining.

Next, I want to talk about gameplay features exclusive to this game. First off is the moon feature. Certain actions are doubled in power or halved depending on the moon’s phase. And, on at least one occasion, a moon-phase-specific event is available, and I don’t mean those relating to the storyline. So, unless the game says otherwise, you may want to choose when you want to enter a dungeon. Like, if you want to pack on attack power, wait until the moon is in its waning phase. Another new feature is the Band command. When you select this feature, you can pair up with one or more characters to use a powerful joint attack. Right now, I’m not sure if the chance of discovering a new Band is 100% successful, so I’ll need to play a bit more to find out.

I highly recommend this game to anyone who has played the original Final Fantasy 4 for SNES, GBA, or DS. The game is split up into portions, making the price reasonable. It has a lot of nostalgic moments, but the feel is fresh.

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Fantasizing a Final Fantasy

March 6, 2009

I just couldn’t help but talk about what, to me, would be an awesome Final Fantasy game, not that the ones I’ve played aren’t awesome enough, already. But, having played and beaten the first 6 Final Fantasy games (1 and 2 Dawn of Souls, 3 for DS, 4 on GBA and DS, 5 on GBA, and 6 on SNES and GBA), I pretty much have enough Final Fantasy experience to imagine something that might turn out pretty good.

Ok, first of all, I’m imagining Final Fantasy 1 (yes, the VERY first one) as the foundation. This includes 8-bit graphics (although I would like to have battle scenes with scenery instead of boxes), the four crystals and elemental fiends to guard them, magic-equipping, and the ability to upgrade jobs. Also, for the shops and menus, for the sake of ease, I would prefer the Dawn of Souls setup. So, why 8-bit graphics? Well, I’m a fan of 8-Bit Theater comics, so the 8-bit approach would be nice for fans of the comics, as well as old-school gamers. Now, the four crystals were a central theme for Final Fantasy 1, 3, 4, and 5. That’s why I kept that feature. Limiting magic of a particular level does have its downsides, but it has its upsides, as well. With this, mages won’t be overpowered, thus checking the game’s challenge. Upgrading jobs is a feature I enjoyed in Final Fantasy 1, because although the four heroes seemed to look a bit shabby in the beginning of the game, after the upgrade, they began to truly look like Light Warriors.

Now, while I’m on the subject of jobs, that’s where Final Fantasy 5 comes in. Now, why I said that instead of 3 is due to the job-levelling feature. In 3, the job levels go up to 99, just like the heroes’ levels. Well, considering that my imagined Final Fantasy game requires the characters to keep their jobs throughout the entire game, I would suggest that each character’s job will reach the same level before it is mastered, although I would have the job level max at around 30. Now, another feature Final Fantasy 5 has that I loved was the fact that jobs came with abilities. So, obviously, as the job level grows, the character learns a new job ability. Now for the jobs, themselves. Obviously, all of the jobs from Final Fantasy 1 are keepers. Let’s see, the Blue Mage is definitely a keeper for me. Dragoons, yes indeed! Not only do I find Dragoons’ jump attacks useful, but I also find their armor quite stylish. I think I’ll add the Hunter, as well, for variety. The Mystic Knight from 5 is a good pick. I loved having one in my party. Hmm… a Bard? I don’t know anyone who uses one. I have a better idea, though. Remember Mog, that super-awesome Moogle from 6? I could replace the Bard with a Moogle that knows how to dance. A Berserker would be nice, too. I’ve used one in 5, and that turned out to be pretty good as far as damage-dealing goes. Ooh! Last, but not least, the Mime! But, I think I would rather have him as a secret job. After all, a Mime would be able to equip any ability from any job. However, the abilities he can equip has to do with how leveled his job is.

Magic and summon collecting will mainly come from 4 and 6. For the summons, you will have to earn them by fighting the summon, first. I enjoyed this feature, because the summon, if not one that I often use, would be more like a trophy. I may not use a certain summon in battle, but if the battle is tough, I would most definitely go for it. Also, I can bet that many FF6 fans would agree with me that getting Ragnarok was just a bit too easy, especially since getting Locke back didn’t require fighting bosses. Sure, there was that Red Dragon, but he was optional. Lastly, like 6, each character has the ability to equip one summon. However, only Black, White, and Red Mages can harness their magic power. This brings me to the magic. For fairness, Black Mage will already come equipped with Fire, Blizzard, and Thunder as spells. White Mage will have come equipped with Cure. As for the Red Mage, because they can wield swords, they will start with no magic at all. They will be able to learn more spells as summons are defeated. The method of learning spells from summons would be the same as the one in 6. Now, spells, like abilities, instead of getting deleted and having to relearn them later, will be placed in a spell inventory.

Chocobos and airships will appear in the game, as well. After all, what is a Final Fantasy game without them? Both of them will keep their roles, but I can imagine the airship being used to scout for areas that could not be accessed any other way, mainly for summons or optional bosses that protect valuable treasure.

Beginning with Final Fantasy 6, the series began moving toward a more mechanical era. I personally prefer the classic Medieval era style, but I would like to add areas of advanced technology in a couple of areas on the map. Maybe Omega and Guardian will show up to say “Hi”! Heh. Maybe not. It would be nice to see a superpowerful optional boss or two, though.

The optional dungeons from 1: DoS should make a return appearance, as well. The method of unlocking them will be the same: defeat the elemental field to remove its statue. The first dungeon would contain these bosses: Lich, Marilith, Kraken, and Tiamat. The second dungeon would contain Scarmiglione, Cagnazzo, Barbariccia, and Rubicante. The third dungeon would have Gilgamesh, LiquidFlame (with increased stats), Shinryu, and Omega. The final dungeon would have Ultimate Weapon, Diamond Weapon, Ruby Weapon, and Emerald Weapon. All bosses will, of course, be in 8-bit form.

The maximum level will stay at 99, and the characters should have over 9000, but not 9999 HP and over 900, but not 999 MP at their highest level. I’m thinking of also taking the approach that Treasure of the Rudras took and combine that with a final area similar to Kefka’s Tower in FF6. Treasure of the Rudras had three separate adventures for each character, and the fourth character was playable in the final segment of the game. So, what would happen is that each of the three parts will have its own starting point and antagonist, while all three parties go after the crystals in between. To explain how this is possible, all three parties will be from different dimensions of the same time period. When all three parties defeat their antagonists, the interdimensional portal (FF5-inspired) will appear, and all three parties will enter the final dungeon. Once inside, there will be three save points. These save points will be used for each party as a starting point. All three parties will navigate in cooperation with each other within the final dungeon with various puzzles. At the end of it all will be the true final boss. Defeating this boss will unlock the Mime class and the ability to change jobs at will, as well as keep any abilities that have been learned. Spells and summons, however, will need to be relearned. This will be the game’s New Game +. The game will have a story, but I don’t want it to be incredibly deep or anything like that. I’m thinking on the Final Fantasy 2 level on this. Gameplay and replay value will be the major focus.

Whew, that wraps things up for my imagined Final Fantasy. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, feel free to post them!